Flesh is circulating. Organs are extracted and exchanged. Limbs detached from a dead body can be reanimated on a living body. Ova are fertilized by sperm that was once frozen. The skin cells from an impotent male can now become sperm cells. And more interestingly the skin cells from female bodies can be re-engineered into sperm cells. The face of a donor body becomes a third face on the recipient. Cadavers can be preserved forever with plastination whilst comatose bodies can be sustained indefinitely on life-support systems. Cryogenically suspended bodies await reanimation at some imagined future. The dead, the near-dead, and the yet to be born now exist simultaneously. And if body parts can be stem-cell grown or Organ Printed, then organs will be in abundence. Organs will be in excess. There will be organs awaiting bodies. Organs Without Bodies. This is the age of the Cadaver, the Comatose and the Chimera. The Chimera is the body that performs with mixed realities. Liminal spaces proliferate, blurring what it means to be a body and whether it is any longer meaningful to remain human. Perhaps what it means to be human is not to remain human at all.
Stelarc explores alternate anatomical architectures. His early performances included 25 body suspensions with insertions into the skin. He has visually probed and acoustically amplified his body. He has performed with a THIRD HAND, a STOMACH SCULPTURE and EXOSKELETON, a 6-legged robot. FRACTAL FLESH remotely actuates the body with electrical stimulation. PING BODY and PARASITE explored how the body could be actuated by internet data streams. PROSTHETIC HEAD is an embodied conversational agent that speaks to the person who interrogates it. EAR ON ARM is a surgical and cell-grown construct that will be internet-enabled, for people in other places. Recent publications include STELARC: THE MONOGRAPH, Edited by Marqand Smith, Forward by William Gibson (MIT Press 2005). He was a Senior Research Fellow at MARCS Auditory Labs from 2006-2011 with the THINKING HEAD project. He is Chair in Performance Art, Brunel University London. In 2010 he was awarded the Ars Electronica Hybrid Arts Prize. Stelarcâs artwork is represented by SCOTT LIVESEY GALLERIES, Melbourne.